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Sep 28, 2018

Gerald Celente Video: Avoid Media False Flgs, These Warning These Warning Signs Are Flashing Market Crash.

Facebook discovered 'security issue' affecting 50 million accounts I CNBC News

Michelle Castillo

Facebook discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, the company announced Friday.
"This is a very serious security issue, and we're taking it very seriously," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a call with reporters.
Facebook shares, which were already down about 1.5 percent before the announcement, extended losses after the disclosure and ended down 2.6 percent.
The company said in a blog post that its engineering team found on Tuesday that attackers identified a weakness in Facebook's code regarding its "View As" feature. Facebook became aware of a potential attack after it noticed a spike in user activity on Sept. 16.
"View As" lets users see what their profile looks like to other users on the platform. This vulnerability, which consisted of three separate bugs, also allowed the hackers to get access tokens — digital keys which let people stay logged into the service without having to re-enter their password — which could be used to control other people's accounts.
Almost 50 million accounts had their access tokens taken, and Facebook has reset those tokens. The company also reset tokens for an additional 40 million accounts who used the "View As" feature in the last year as a precautionary measure, for a total of 90 million accounts. Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users as of June 30.
The reset will require these users to re-enter their password when they return to Facebook or access an app that uses Facebook Login. They will also receive a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened.
In addition, the company suspended the "View As" feature while it reviews its security. Facebook said it fixed the issue on Thursday night and has notified law enforcement including the FBI and the Irish Data Protection Commission in order to any address General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) issues.
Facebook said it has just begun its investigation and has not determined if any information was misused, but the initial investigation has not uncovered any information abuse. The hackers did query Facebook's API system, which lets applications communicate with the platform, to get more user information. The company is not sure if the hackers used that data, nor does it know who orchestrated the hack or where the person or people are based.
The company said there is no need to change passwords. If additional accounts are affected, Facebook said it will immediately reset those users' access tokens. Facebook is doubling the number of employees who are working to improve security from 10,000 to 20,000, the company reiterated.
"Security is an arms race, and we're continuing to improve our defenses," Zuckerberg said. "This just underscores there are constant attacks from people who are trying to underscore accounts in our community."
Zuckerberg addressed the issue in a Facebook post on his account. Read it below:

Kavanaugh confirmation hits major snag after Flake seeks FBI probe: Magazine I Politico

By POLITICO Magazine

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.:
The Senate on Saturday will vote on a motion to proceed with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn.
Story Continued Below
There will also be a “supplemental” FBI background investigation into sexual assault allegations made against Kavanaugh, Cornyn said. The probe will last a week, he said.
Cornyn’s announcement indicates GOP leaders are assenting to a call from Sen. Jeff Flake and others to hold an FBI inquiry before a final vote — but keeps the nomination on track to proceed pending the outcome of that investigation.
"The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today,” the Judiciary Committee said.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Friday brought Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the brink of victory, then into significant uncertainty, in a matter of hours.
The swing-vote senator announced his support for President Donald Trump’s high court pick Friday morning. But after a dramatic series of closed-door meetings with senators from both parties, he said that he would “only be comfortable” voting yes in the end after the FBI investigates a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.
“I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week in order to let the FBI do an investigation, limited in time and scope,” Flake told fellow senators on the Judiciary Committee. The committee voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination.
The latest head-spinning twist may not stop Kavanaugh’s nomination from coming to the Senate floor by this weekend. But Flake’s maneuver drops a political land mine in the lap of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the White House, which now must decide whether and how to initiate the FBI inquiry Flake sought.
“This country is being ripped apart here,” Flake told fellow senators as national anger flares over Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.
Senate GOP leaders were rattled by the move, and unsure of the next twist. The Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans met with McConnell privately about Flake's request as they deliberated over whether to hold a floor vote on Saturday.
“It’s still our intention subject to change” to vote tomorrow, said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Cornyn said he felt "very positive" about Kavanaugh's prospects, but Flake said after the committee vote that "there has to be some follow up by the FBI in order for me to feel comfortable voting on the floor."
Key undecided senators joined Flake's calls minutes after he made his move. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he supported Flake's call for an FBI investigation "so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote," as did Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
As he made his way to the hearing room earlier in the day, the Arizonan was confronted by female protesters who asked him how he could support Kavanaugh after Ford’s wrenching testimony of the day before. Flake mostly nodded and stayed silent as the women urged him to not vote for Kavanaugh.
“You have power when so many women are powerless,” one of the women said.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close friend of Flake’s, said in an interview that he and the Republican had “a number of conversations” about Kavanaugh following Thursday testimony from both the judge and Ford.
Flake made his move Friday, Coons said, “after having reassurances from some other senators in his party” about his interest in an FBI probe of Ford’s claim.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Murkowski, two swing votes subjected to intense pressure from both sides, have yet to announce how they’ll vote on Kavanaugh.
While the opening of an FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh claim would depend on the White House’s buy-in, Trump indicated Friday that he could support the move if GOP senators agree to it. Trump told reporters that he would be “totally reliant on what Senator Grassley and the group decides to do.”
Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told fellow senators after Flake made his announcement that he couldn’t guarantee the FBI inquiry his colleague was seeking but that he would support the request.
“Flake is sincere. He would feel better if there was a little more time,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Kavanaugh’s stoutest defenders throughout the sexual misconduct scandal facing him. “I don’t question his motives. I’m ready to go [to a vote], but this is called democracy.”
Before Flake’s remarkable move, Kavanaugh’s path to confirmation appeared smoother, if narrower, despite multiple Democrats coming out against him.
Soon after Flake announced his yes vote in the committee, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said he opposes the nomination. With Kavanaugh still short of 50 votes, that leaves just two moderate Republicans and two moderate Democrats still undecided.
Donnelly called the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh "disturbing and credible" and called for an FBI investigation that Republicans are not calling for.
“While I would gladly welcome the opportunity to work with President Trump on a new nominee for this critically important position, if Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination comes before the full Senate for a vote under these circumstances, I will oppose it," Donnelly said.
The 53-year-old appeals court judge delivered an emotional and defiant defense amid sexual misconduct allegations on Thursday, a showing that successfully rallied many Republicans behind him.
Ford's testimony nonetheless has begun pushing red- and purple-state Democratic senators off the fence on the nomination. Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) all announced their opposition to Kavanaugh in the hours after Ford's testimony, although the GOP did not consider any Democrat a legitimately swayable vote in the end.
Manchin, one Democrat the GOP is heavily courting, huddled with Flake, Collins, and Murkowski on Thursday night before a private meeting of majority-party senators on the nomination.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is also publicly undecided. Heitkamp’s reelection campaign has taken aim at her challenger Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) for his comments on the allegation against Kavanaugh as she fights for her political life, but Democratic sources see her as a genuine toss-up.
Republicans may still take the judge's high court nomination to the Senate floor as soon as this weekend. The judiciary committee advanced
GOP leaders seemed increasingly confident that moderates Collins and Murkowski will come around to Kavanaugh on the floor.
"There are some people who haven't stated their intentions," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP senator. "If this is a process based on facts and evidence and truth it's hard to feature how people could come to the conclusion based upon his emphatic denial and the absence of any absence to contrary, that he wouldn't be supported and confirmed."
If a Saturday vote happens, it may not indicate whether Kavanaugh will be confirmed. Historically, Murkowski and Collins generally believe nominees should be advanced to a final vote on the Senate floor.

Kavanaugh vote: Senate Republicans agree to new FBI background investigation of nominee: Politics I The Washington Post

By Seung Min Kim and Seung Min Kim White House reporter Email Bio Follow

John Wagner
National reporter leading The Post's breaking political news team
Senate Republican leaders agreed Friday to reopen the FBI background investigation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh after two key Republicans suggested they would not vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court without additional information on his alleged sexual misconduct while he was a teenager.
The announcement followed a vote along party lines by the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination, after securing a vote from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who asked for a delay of up to a week before the full Senate decides the judge’s fate.
Another senator considered a swing vote on the floor, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), said she agrees with Flake, leaving GOP leaders little choice but to slow down the process, given their slim 51-49 margin in the chamber.
Republican leaders said they still plan to move ahead with a procedural vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday but will postpone a final vote on his confirmation that they had hoped would take place Tuesday.
The 11-to-10 committee vote came a day after hearing riveting testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused President Trump’s nominee of sexual assault at a house party in Maryland in the early 1980s.
Following Flake’s announcement, both Murkowski and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) indicated that they support his call for a delay.
“The American people have been pulled apart by this entire spectacle and we need to take time to address these claims independently, so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote,” Manchin said in a statement. “It is what is right and fair for Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people.”
While the timing of the floor vote is up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said he would advocate for Flake’s request.
“This is all a gentlemen’s and women’s agreement,” Grassley said after the committee vote.
Speaking to reporters at the White House after the committee vote, Trump said he would defer to Senate leaders on how to proceed with his nominee. “Whatever they think is necessary is okay,” Trump said. “They have to do what they think is right.”
He continued to stand by Kavanaugh, saying he had not thought “even a little bit” about a replacement but also said he found Ford a “credible witness.”
How Senators plan to vote on Kavanaugh
The move by Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring from the Senate after this year, was cheered by several Democrats, including Sen. Chris Coons (Del.), a fellow member of the Judiciary Committee.
“He and I don’t share a lot of political views but we share a deep concern for the health of this institution and what it means to the rest of the world and the country,” said Coons, who huddled with Flake before he announced his position.
Flake is “someone who is willing to take a real political risk and upset many in his party by asking for a pause,” Coons said.
As Kavanaugh’s nomination heads to the floor, his prospects remain unclear in the full Senate.
Two other senators considered swing votes — Susan Collins (Maine) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) — remained silent about their intentions Friday.
Meanwhile, another red-state Democrat, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Friday that he would oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. Republicans had been courting Donnelly, one of three Democrats, along with Manchin and Heitkamp, who supported previous Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch.
“I have deep reservations about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to this lifetime position and ... we have been unable to get all the information necessary regarding this nomination, despite my best efforts,” Donnelly said in a statement. “Only 113 people have ever served on the Supreme Court, and I believe that we must do our level best to protect its sanctity.”
Mark Judge, a friend and high school classmate of Kavanaugh, is likely to be a prominent figure in any inquiry by the FBI. Ford claims he was present when Kavanaugh allegedly attacked her. Another Kavanaugh accuser also alleges that Judge and Kavanaugh sought on multiple occasions in high school to drug inebriated girls for nonconsensual sex with multiple boys — an accusation Kavanaugh has strongly denied.
“If the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests Mr. Judge’s cooperation, he will answer any and all questions posed to him,” Judge’s lawyer Barbara Van Gelder said.
Judge met with his lawyer Friday morning in Washington, after returning from being holed up in a Bethany Beach, Del., home. The Post found him there on Monday, where his lawyer said he had fled to try to avoid an avalanche of press requests and criticism.
Judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday he either does not recall or flatly rejects the allegations about his and Kavanaugh’s behavior in high school.
At the committee vote neared Friday, senators on both sides of the aisle took turns giving their reasons for supporting or opposing Kavanaugh, many in impassioned terms.
“He does not have the veracity nor temperament for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in our nation,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said of Kavanaugh. “And no such nominee should be confirmed in the face of such serious, credible and unresolved allegations of sexual assault.”
“I’ve never heard a more compelling defense of one’s honor and integrity,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) countered, referring to Kavanaugh’s performance at Thursday’s hearing.
Graham declared that judicial confirmations would now be starkly different going forward, noting the “process before Kavanaugh, and the process after Kavanaugh.”
“I can say about Ms. Ford, I feel sorry for her, and I do believe something happened to her, and I don’t know when and where,” Graham said. “But I don’t believe it was Brett Kavanaugh.”
Shortly after the Judiciary Committee convened Friday, the panel voted down a motion on party lines by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to subpoena Judge, who had said he does not want to be part of a committee hearing.
The committee then voted, again along party lines, to decide on Kavanaugh’s nomination at 1:30 p.m. The votes prompted outrage from Democrats.
“This is just totally ridiculous. What a railroad job,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
Several Senate Democrats — including Blumenthal, Hirono, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) — walked out in protest.
Underscoring the acrimony surrounding Friday’s proceedings, a dozen House Democratic women who gathered to watch the Judiciary Committee stood up in the room in protest.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) later told reporters that she thinks President Trump “is trying to break the MeToo movement” with his continued support for Kavanaugh.
Meanwhile, shortly after Flake announced his support for Kavanaugh, two women tearfully and loudly confronted the Arizona senator in an el­e­va­tor, tell­ing him that he was dis­miss­ing the pain of sex­ual as­sault survivors.
“What you are doing is al­low­ing some­one who ac­tu­al­ly vio­lat­ed a woman to sit in the Su­preme Court,” one woman shout­ed during a live CNN broadcast as Flake was making his way to the Judiciary Committee meeting. “This is hor­rible. You have chil­dren in your fam­i­ly. Think a­bout them.”
Flake lis­tened quietly, then told the women: “Thank you.”
Before the committee meeting, White House officials fanned out across morning television shows to tout Kavanaugh’s fiery performance in Thursday’s hearing and press the Senate to vote.
“I think he was incredibly powerful and very clear,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Kavanaugh during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
She suggested that Ford was mistaken about her attacker and said Kavanaugh has “been unequivocal since Day One that this did not take place by him.”
During a television appearance Friday morning before the committee vote, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said he is “optimistic we’ll confirm the judge.”
Asked about Republican holdouts on “Fox & Friends,” Cornyn said, “They have not publicly committed, but we’ve been engaging in personal texts, conversations, face-to-face visits. It’s the norm for how thing happen here . . . I respect their right to make their own announcement, which I’m sure they’ll do in due course.”
The votes of several red-state Democrats have also been in play.
Late Thursday, one of them, Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), said in a tweet that he would vote no if the chamber presses ahead with consideration of Kavanaugh the day after hearing from Ford, whom Jones said he found “credible & courageous.”
With her voice shaking at times, Ford described in stark detail Thursday being pinned on a bed at a house party by a drunken Kavanaugh, who she said groped her, tried to take off her clothes and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams. She said she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh was her attacker.
In his tweet, Jones repeated a call for the Senate to postpone the vote and hear from Judge, who Ford said was in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her in 1982.
“What message will we send to our daughters & sons, let alone sexual assault victims?” Jones said in his tweet. “The message I will send is this — I vote no. #RightSideofHistory”
Late Thursday, the American Bar Association, which had previously rated Kavanaugh “well-qualified” for the Supreme Court, called on the Judiciary Committee to halt the confirmation vote, saying it should not move forward until an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against him can be completed.
During her appearance on ABC, Sanders suggested that was unnecessary, saying the FBI has conducted six previous background checks on Kavanaugh for federal positions.
“These allegations took place long before any of those background checks would have taken place,” she said, adding that senators had asked questions Thursday similar to what the FBI would ask if it reopened its process.
Rachel Mitchell, the outside counsel hired by Republicans to question Ford, told GOP senators in a closed-door meeting Thursday night that she would not have prosecuted the matter because there was no corroborating evidence, according to two GOP sources familiar with her presentation. She also told the senators that Ford was a compelling witness who had clearly suffered trauma.
Mitchell, a registered Republican, has not commented about the case. Republicans have rebuffed repeated requests from Democrats to call other witnesses who might have corroborated Ford’s account and also rejected Democratic calls for an FBI investigation.
Mitchell’s comments reassured Republicans who have been wavering about the nomination, according to GOP sources who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
During Thursday’s hearing, Kavanaugh angrily assailed Democrats for pushing what he said were false charges to “blow me up and take me down.”
The 53-year-old federal judge was often tearful and paused for gulps of water as he spoke about the toll that the allegations by Ford and two other women have taken on his wife, his children, his parents and his friends.
“This has destroyed my family and my good name,” he said, adding: “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.”
It remained unclear whether an FBI review would include two other Kavanaugh accusers.
Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, told the New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both first-year students.
Julie Swetnick, a Washington resident, said in a declaration that Kavanaugh was physically abusive toward girls in high school and present at a house party in 1982 where she says she was the victim of a “gang” rape. She is being represented by Michael Avenatti, whose clients also include Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who was paid to remain silent about an alleged decade-old affair with Trump.
Carol D. Leonnig, Sean Sullivan, Mike DeBonis, Paul Kane, Robert Barnes and Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.

Land of the Rising Robots (Originally published on September 27, 2018) I IMF

Listen to the brightest minds in the field of economics and development discuss their latest research and deconstruct global economic trends. IMF Podcasts are also available on digital platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud and Libsyn, and free to use for broadcasters, educators and institutions.

Japan: Land of the Rising Robots

September 27, 2018

Robots help travelers find their way in Japan’s airports and train stations. (iStock by Getty Images/ TeerawatWinyarat)
In Japan, deaths outnumber births by 1,000 people per day on average. The population in some regions is now smaller than what it was in the 1950’s. The combination of its rapidly declining labor force—expected to fall even faster than the overall population, and the limited influx of immigrants, creates a powerful incentive for robots and artificial intelligence. In this podcast, IMF economists Todd Schneider and Gee Hee Hong say Japan has no choice but to embrace robots and automation to help the shrinking workforce become more productive. Schneider and Hong coauthored Land of the Rising Robots, an article featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Todd Schneider, is a Deputy Division Chief, and Gee Hee Hong, is an economist, both in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.

EU FX: Dollar rises on euro woes, Fed rate outlook I CNBC


Dan Kitwood | Getty Images
The dollar climbed to a two-week peak versus a currency basket on Friday, as concerns about the Italian budget weighed on the euro while the greenback drew support from an outlook for multiple U.S. interest rate hikes until 2020.
The U.S. dollar also rose to a nine-month high against the yen. For the third quarter, the dollar index, a gauge of its value against six major currencies, was on track to post its second consecutive quarterly gain, rising 0.5 percent. For the last six months, the greenback has advanced nearly 6 percent.
."The reasons why the U.S. dollar was going up in the first place have not changed," said John Taylor, president of global macro research firm Taylor Global Vision in New York. "Rising U.S. rates at the same time the global economy is showing signs of slowing down and the ongoing trade war still provides a major barrier for any cyclically-sensitive currency, whether it's an emerging or developed market currency," he added.
In afternoon trading, the dollar index rose 0.3 percent to 95.13, rising for three straight sessions. The dollar rose to a nine-month peak versus the yen of 113.66 yen, and was last up 0.2 percent at 113.57 yen.
U.S. data on Friday all supported the view of an economy that is on a stable growth path. U.S. consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month after an unrevised 0.4 percent gain in July, while a measure of underlying inflation remained at the Fed's 2 percent target for a fourth straight month.
The Chicago Purchasing Management index for September was 60.4, slightly lower than the consensus forecast. The U.S. consumer sentiment index for September, on the other hand, was slightly lower than forecast at 100.1, but still the highest since March.
The euro, meanwhile, slipped below $1.16 for the first time in two weeks after Italy's government agreed on a budget seen by some investors as defying Brussels. The euro was last down 0.3 percent at $1.1612.
Political wrangling over the budget in heavily indebted Italy has put a lid on a recent revival in the euro's fortunes against the dollar.
The euro posted its biggest one-day decline for nearly two months on Thursday as the battle over fiscal policy intensified in the euro zone's third-largest economy.
Financial markets are nervous that the Italy's spending plans will boost the country's debt, which is already the second highest in the euro zone as a share of economic output after Greece, near 131 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
The government is targeting a budget deficit at 2.4 percent of GDP, inside the 3 percent ceiling prescribed by European Union rules.

Bonds & Fixed Income: Treasury yields dip after Fed inflation gauge stays unchanged I CNBC

Thomas Franck, Alexandra Gibbs

U.S. government debt yields fell Friday after the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation metric was stagnant during the month of August.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding volatile food and energy components was unchanged after rising 0.2 percent in July, according to the Commerce Department. August's results put the year-over-year increase in the core PCE index at 2 percent.
The core PCE index, the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, hit the central bank's 2 percent target in March for the first time since April 2012.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at around 3.048 percent at 2:20 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond held steady at 3.19 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) hiked its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point Wednesday and announced that an additional hike was projected by year-end, while three more were penciled in for 2019.
"The main thing where we might need to move along a little bit quicker if inflation surprises to the upside. We don't see that," Powell told reporters during his quarterly news conference Wednesday.
Fed members also decided to drop language saying that "the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative," a signal to some traders that the Fed considers itself closer to being done with regular rate hikes.
"No one disputes the fact that the U.S. economy is strong, steady, and could have legs well beyond anyone's forecast, the question remains: if inflation continues to flat line, does the Fed begin to do harm by continuing to raise rates?" said Kevin Giddis, head of fixed income capital markets at Raymond James.
"Time will only tell and the state of the market isn't all wrapped up in just the Fed, there are other things to watch as well," he added.
Investors continue to keep an eye on trade developments between the U.S. and major economies, including Canada and China, as trade tensions continue to ratchet up.
President Donald Trump is set to welcome Chile's President Sebastián Piñera to the White House, where the two leaders will likely comment on pro-growth policies, combating corrupt and illicit networks and cybersecurity.

Oil Price at Close Report: Brent hits four-year high as US sanctions on Iran tighten supply I CNBC


Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday, with Brent climbing to a fresh four-year high, as U.S. sanctions on Tehran squeezed Iranian crude exports, tightening supply even as other key exporters increased production.
Brent crude futures rose $1, or 1.2 percent, at $82.72 a barrel by 2:28 p.m. ET. The session high of $82.87 was its highest since Nov. 10, 2014. In the third quarter, Brent has so far gained about 4 percent.
U.S. light crude ended Friday's session up $1.13 at $73.25 a barrel, a 1.6 percent gain. The session high of $73.73 was the highest since July 11. The contract is up almost 4.9 percent this month but down 1.2 percent for the quarter.
"The market is coming to grips with the fact that the Iranian sanctions are not that far away," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. "It's going to tighten the market."
Washington is demanding that buyers of Iranian oil cut imports to zero to force Tehran to negotiate a new nuclear agreement and to curb its influence in the Middle East.
China's Sinopec Corp is halving loadings of crude oil from Iran this month, as the state refiner comes under intense pressure from Washington, said people with knowledge of the matter.
However, India, another top buyer, is committed to buying oil from Tehran, the Iranian foreign minister said.
Other OPEC countries have been increasing production in recent months, but global inventories have been falling as supply tightens, analysts say.
Saudi Arabia is expected to add extra oil to the market over the next couple of months to offset the drop in Iranian production.
Two sources familiar with OPEC policy told Reuters Saudi Arabia and other producers had discussed a possible production increase of about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) among OPEC and non-OPEC producers.
However, ANZ said in a note on Friday that major suppliers were unlikely to offset losses due to the sanctions estimated at 1.5 million bpd.
At its 2018 peak in May, Iran exported 2.71 million bpd, nearly 3 percent of daily global crude consumption.
Looking to 2019, Saudi Arabia is concerned rising U.S. shale production could create another glut, especially if a stronger dollar and weaker emerging market economies reduce global demand for oil.
OPEC forecasts that its non-OPEC rivals led by the United States will increase output by 2.4 million bpd in 2019 while global oil demand should grow by just 1.5 million bpd.
U.S. crude production rose 269,000 bpd to a record 10.964 million bpd in July, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report.
However, drillers cut three oil rigs in the week to Sept. 28, General Electric's Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. New drilling has stalled in the third quarter with the fewest additions in a quarter since 2017 due to pipeline constraints in the nation's largest oil field.
The Permian Basin is forecast to produce 3.5 million bpd in October, just below output from Iran, OPEC's third largest producer.

Wall Street at Close Report: S&P 500 posts best quarter since 2013 I CNBC

Fred Imbert, Alexandra Gibbs

Stocks rose marginally on Friday as investors capped off a strong quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21 points, led by Intel and Boeing. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, both edged higher.
The Dow is up 9.4 percent this quarter, on track for its best quarterly gain since fourth quarter 2017. The S&P 500, meanwhile, is set to post its best quarter since fourth quarter 2013, having risen 7.3 percent. The Nasdaq is also up more than 7 percent, on pace for its best biggest one-quarter gains since first quarter 2017.
Equities rose broadly as investors cheered stronger-than-expected quarterly results. Calendar second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 rose 25 percent on a year-over-year basis, with 77.6 percent of companies topping analyst expectations.
Heading into the fourth quarter, however, investors will face uncertainty amid a highly anticipated mid-term election in November. Democrats are expected to gain a majority in the House as well as increase their seat count in the Senate. This could delay, or even thwart, the Trump administration's economic agenda.
But gains were limited on Friday amid lingering trade tensions.
The U.S. and Canada have not yet come to an agreement on trade as a Sept. 30 deadline rapidly approaches. The two countries are trying to come to terms so Canada can join a trade deal struck between the U.S. and Mexico that would replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been heavily criticized by President Donald Trump.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Tuesday the U.S. was ready to move ahead on a new NAFTA deal without Canada.
Trump, meanwhile, said Wednesday he was "very unhappy" with Canada's negotiation tactics, noting: "We don't like their representative [Chrystia Freeland] very much."
Traders work the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on December 20, 2017 in New York.
BRYAN R. SMITH | AFP | Getty Images
Traders work the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on December 20, 2017 in New York.
Trade has been an overhang for U.S. stocks for most of 2018 as investors try to assess how protectionist policies would impact the global economy and corporate profits.
"Unless we see some resolution, trade talks are going to heat up," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "But first, we have to go through the earnings season" and hear what CEOs have to say on the matter.
Stocks gains were also capped as European shares fell after the Italian government set a budget deficit target that is three times higher than the previous government had planned.
The Stoxx 600 index — which track a broad swath of European stocks — fell 0.8 percent while the Italian FTSE MIB index dropped nearly 3.7 percent. Germany's Dax also fell 1.5 percent and France's CAC 40 declined 0.9 percent.
"The deficit agreed upon … while not the worst-case scenario, is still somewhat worse than market expectations," said Larry McDonald, head of the U.S. macro strategies at ACG Analytics and editor of The Bear Traps Report. He noted the deficit target puts Italy "in breach of its obligations."
Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in August while the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, rose 2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
"On a year-over-year basis, inflation has met the Fed's publicly stated target. The FOMC can therefore continue to trudge forward on its journey toward normalization," Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, said in a note. "Given the robust economy, the lack of any deleterious upward pressure on consumer prices bolsters the bulls' case."
Tesla shares plummeted more than 10 percent after the Securities and Exchange Commission sued CEO Elon Musk for fraud. While sources close to the company told CNBC that the firm was also expecting to be sued, Tesla wasn't however named as a defendant in the complaint.
Boeing rose more than 1 percent after winning a $9.2 billion Pentagon contract to build the next Air Force training aircraft.
Intel shares jumped to trade nearly 3 percent higher after interim CEO Bob Swan said the company would be able to meet its full-year revenue outlook. The gains also lifted the S&P 500 tech sector, which was up 0.8 percent for the week.

Metals I Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York I CMI

Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York
Friday, September 28, 2018